This is a continuation from last week of Jarn’s story.  Jarn is a R’il’nian, a very human-like alien, stranded on Earth 125,000 years ago. The Jarnian Confederation, setting of my two science fiction books, was named after him. Jarn’s Journal to date is posted on my author website.

Day 371

I have been here more than a year!

I knew it was more than a Kentra year, of course—the clock and calendar are still working. And the day-length here is close enough to Kentra’s that the count of sunrises alone was enough to tell me that a year had passed on my home planet.

But today I was at my first landing place near sunset. I paused to watch the sinking sun, and it was slightly north of a notch in the hills on the horizon that framed its setting the first time I looked. First it moved north, then south, and now it is moving north again and it is farther north than when I arrived, so more than a planet year has passed. I will have to set up some means of keeping track of were it sets, and develop a local calendar.

I asked Songbird if her people would return. She said yes, they followed the gazelles, which always came back to that place with the sun.

Could they not eat fish, I asked, or any of the other wild foods she was introducing me to?

“Fish is not as sweet as gazelle meat, and besides, they will meet other groups to the north. Aardvark is old enough to mate, and his mate must come from another group.”

“Does the girl go to her mate’s group, or the boy?” I asked.

She looked puzzled. “The shamans of the two clans decide,” she finally said, “but I hope Aardvark stays. We have more girls than boys.”

The shamans again. Was keeping the sex ratio balanced one of their jobs? What else influenced them? I do not know how long these people had been in their camping spot before Patches found them. But this year I will start watching when the clouds begin massing on the northern horizon.

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